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Help me talk about death to my son.

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posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:29 AM
I'm reasonably young still, I'm almost 27, and I'm really lucky to still have both grandparents, and both parents.
I have a son who will be 5 in a couple of months. Recently he has been really hung up on the thought of dying.

It started off that he would say, "When I am 300 years old, I might die!" and I would say, "Wow, if you get to 300 years old, I expect you'll need a good rest by then!"
Or he would be interested in cause and effect re: death. "Why does that cupboard say 'danger'"? "Well, there might be things in there that could harm you, there might be electric things, or cleaning products, that if you touched or got in your eyes could hurt you a lot." "Yeah, and if I touch those electric things, I might die!" or "What might happen if I walk on the train tracks?" "There is electricity in the rails, so you might get electrocuted, or the train might come along very fast and run you over before you got out the way. So we don't walk on train tracks, because it's dangerous, ok?"
(His paternal grandfather is in is 70s, and tells him stories of the dangerous things he did as a young boy, which I am really annoyed about. I don't mind him telling him these things, but he tells him as though it's really funny, and doesn't play up the danger issue. He's already very encouraging of boisterous behaviour, so I don't want our son getting ideas off him. Whereas my step-dad accidentally helped kill his older brother when he was a young boy in a game that went wrong and wasn't thought out, and so is very cautionary.)

But this morning, he was a bit sad and a bit subdued, and he sat in bed with me, and he was tearful.
"I don't want to die..."
Well I can't tell him he won't because he will, one day. His Dad said to just redirect his questions, but I don't want to ignore his anxiety.
I told him that we all die, eventually, but hopefully not until we are super old, and we have done lots of fun things in our lives, and made lots of people happy. I don't feel like it's a good enough answer though. I don't know if he felt comforted by it, or just like he has a countdown about his head haha.

I would really like some other things I can tell him, which will hopefully reassure him (and me!) for the next time he brings it up.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:37 AM
He's young he'll get over it.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:50 AM
Somebody is putting their scare into the poor boy...he should not feel that way at that age.I recommend him to refrain from all contact by dillusional controlling least point out to him that it's a figment of his imagination and deter the matter big time by,I hope the best for yous.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:59 AM
Death is an unknown that has caused far greater individuals than myself to ponder what if. . .

You sound like you are doing OK in dealing with it for him so far.

Perhaps if you can get specific questions from him, rather than general statements, that may help you with your ability to provide answers.

See if you can start a conversation with him about what is is that he fears about death, and go from there.

Wishing you luck.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:59 AM
You sit him down, explain how everything grows and lives, when the body gets old it wears out, it shuts down and the body dies, the physical body dies.
not sure what your religions beliefs are, so I cant get into that.
good luck with your son

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 03:45 AM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

Where is he getting this from? Grandpa, friends, others, school. TV???

If he is talking alot about death/fear of then you might want to find out
WHY he is talking about it/afraid of it.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 03:49 AM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

I remember that moment when I was a kid. A car light out the window, cast a light on my wall that went from one side to another, and disappeared. I realized the same would some day happen to me.

I work with mentally disabled adults, and occasionally this stuff comes up, regarding the death of a pet or family member. I think the most important thing is to respect the individual... In my case, I may tell them about what people with different beliefs - Christians, reincarnation, atheists - believe, and I ask them what they believe. One guy finds great comfort in the idea of Christian heaven, another is drawn to scientific atheist narratives. Its not my job to judge them or to tell them what to think. I basically support them in whatever views they themselves choose to believe in. Its the stance of a professional caregiver, not a parent, but there may be wisdom in it for parents.

What I'm saying is, maybe it would be useful to present your kid with the different ideas that are out there, and see what he/she is drawn towards. Maybe you will disagree, but you won't disagree with the pattern of free thought and questioning your teaching them through that process.


posted on May, 2 2013 @ 04:20 AM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

This just popped into my head, so it's only an idea and not a suggestion. I wonder what your child would think if you brought him into a small room and asked him how crowded it would be if all your family and friends lived in that room forever. And your friends had more babies... Get the image in his head to the point where the room is totally crammed with people, and ask your child how much fun it would be to live that way. Maybe he'd see that death is a good thing because everyone gets a turn to play on this earth, but when he is old it will be time to give somebody else a turn without them being so crowded that they can't have any fun at all. But, right now it's his turn to have fun.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 04:47 AM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

My son witnessed the death of his Grand father when he was five years old. Fortunately, as far as such things go, he was with his cousins at the time, they were able to talk about it amongst themselves and find a child's rationale in the shared experience. They dealt with it amazingly.

As children do, left to their own devices, and given enough options to consider, he has constructed his own belief system to deal with death, which hopefully he will evolve to fit himself over time in the same way my own has. So, if I was in your situation, I would allow him to come up with the answers himself using open questioning. Let him talk about it, and his fear of it, but direct your questions in such a way that gives him some sort of anchorage. You know him best, so only you can really know what is going to suit his way of thinking. Just go with his flow, and don't be afraid of saying 'I don't know' when you don't.

Best of luck.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 04:56 AM
One thing as others have said try to find out where he is getting these thoughts.
One thing that may help is explaining that even his great grandparents are alive so he is a very very long way from death so he doesn't have to worry about it for now. (I know death can happen at any time, but its best not to mention that part).
If you believe or are neutral about afterlife, that may be a way to tackle it, say that we don't really die but go somewhere else, have another life, whatever, in that he may stop fearing death.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 05:13 AM
I just went through this exact same thing with my son age 7 now but at the time he was 6. i just explained to him when someone dies they are reborn again as a baby so u just start over when u die in a new body and u get to pick the new family you are born into and this is why older people die first so the can be reborn and grow up and have there children again in the next life that the family ussualy sticks together being reborn in family units this seemed too please him as i refuse topush religion on him at a young age like it was to me and the worries of hell and damnation that tourmented me as a child so i will let him choose his own religion when hes old enough to understand it.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 05:44 AM

Originally posted by SarnholeOntarable
Somebody is putting their scare into the poor boy...he should not feel that way at that age.I recommend him to refrain from all contact by dillusional controlling least point out to him that it's a figment of his imagination and deter the matter big time by,I hope the best for yous.

Ehh I figured this out when I was 4 and no one had to bring it up to me.. See before this time I had been thinking that my grandpa was always a grandpa.. I would never be a grandpa because I was a kid. Then I realized I was a baby once. Was grandpa a baby too?? If there is a beginning there is an end..

I wasn't afraid because I remember something from before I was here.. I missed it, but didn't tell anyone for some 20 years. My brother learned about it one day because someone died and he kept asking where did they go? He was very agitated about it. My mom tried to comfort him by telling him it's not for a long time and you can be a dad and a grandpa first and it's very very long from now..

That freaked him out even more. "I don't wanna be a grandpa!" Hahaha.. I tried not to laugh in front of him. I think he was 6 years old. He got over it in about 2 weeks.

It's funny.. After all these years of actually looking forward to death I now fear it again. Not that I fear it directly, but I fear leaving people here who I care about.

Deaths a hard one... I asked my mom (at 4).. "Do I get to see everyone again?"
She said to me "Yes, of course!"
"Ok mom.

I agree about preoccupying the kid.
Ask them, "You are too smart, what else do you think about!?"

I like the post directly above mine as well.
edit on 5/2/2013 by Dustytoad because: (no reason given)

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 06:24 AM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

With my son I explained our life on earth using the kitchen table.

We are born at one end and our time on earth begins.

We move through life on earth like a hand across the table.

At death, we leave the table.

No-one who lives on the table can see what happens after we leave.

That's why we invented Religion.

He seemed pleased enough with that and found it quite funny as well.


posted on May, 2 2013 @ 06:46 AM
You said so much with that illustration. Most of all, you were letting him know it was a good question that everybody wonders about.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 06:52 AM
reply to post by DiscreteParticle

Every question from a child is a good question.

Or should be treated as such.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 08:18 AM
Just show him this...

or this more serious route...

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 09:15 AM
You CANT go wrong with Sesame Street

Theyre talking about death to Big Bird after one of the characters, Mr. Hooper died

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 09:46 AM
Some really nice ideas here, thanks.

We're not practising any religion at home, but he goes to a school which is affiliated Christian, so they get the hymns, and prayer and we've not that long had Easter, and I think the questions started pretty much around that time with Jesus being on the cross etc.

He has a really inquisitive mind, and never really grew out of the "why" stage, he wants to know why things happen, and how they do it, and what happens if...

I remember being his age and sitting in my room while my ma was hoovering, and for reason, it hit me really hard that my nanny (grandma) was going to die someday. If nanny is gonna die, then mum is gonna die, and if mums gonna die, then so will I etc.
It didn't affect me as badly then as it does now though haha.

My son's uncle died at 5 years old from Leukaemia, and I'm not sure if he's been talking to his grandparents about him, and that's what's kinda keeping the issue alive for him. I mean, Easter was a while back now. I have asked him whether he knows about his Uncle Adam, and he's like, "Who? I don't know who that is?" so I'm not sure.

I guess this is the age you start picking up and paying attention to these things.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 09:59 AM
reply to post by Lulzaroonie

I would tell him that it's not death but a deep sleep where you get to live in another life. All of your loved ones will be there, mom and dad and so forth. It's never too hot or too cold and every day is wonderful and you get to eat what you want when you want and there are many friends to play with all day.

posted on May, 2 2013 @ 02:45 PM
I would tell him that after this life, we go on to something else, something better.

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